“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
In the above Scripture, Jesus quotes a passage in Deuteronomy 8:3. Here, Moses explains to Israel why God sent them into the wilderness. He states, “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
The contexts are similar. Israel had been in the wilderness. Their hunger caused them to want to “go back to Egypt” where there was food (Exodus 16:1-9). Yet, in the midst of their panicking despair God found a way to feed and sustain them in HIS way. They just needed to trust His plan and ability.
Now, here is Jesus also in the wilderness. He is hungry (Matthew 4:2). Satan wants Jesus to divert from God’s plan by taking matters into his own hands and turn stones to bread (Matthew 4:3). Yet, Jesus makes it clear the Giver of life wants us to trust Him! Jesus chooses God’s plan, despite the suffering involved, rather than Satan’s plan for immediate but temporal satisfaction.
What’s the lesson for us? There’s more to life than the physical man and man’s “bread.” How many will do whatever it takes, even rejecting God’s will, to have more money, more things and to please their own selfish appetites? Jesus would later ask, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25). True living is not just feeding the physical man. Our choices need to be made with God’s will in mind. We need to consider how each of our choices affects not just the fleshly appetite, but the soul. Are we living in complete reliance upon God or are we trusting in our own heart to guide us?
In any situation, when faced with a choice where we must decide between God’s will or our own—may we rely fully upon “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!” This is true faith and reliance—true living! As Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
May God bless you as you live for Him!